It’s September – that time when late summer merges into Autumn with hues of yellows, browns and crispy oranges, while seeds and leaves drop from trees. Dogs love sniffing through them, which means there is an opportunity to pick up acorns or horse chestnuts AKA conkers. These are poisonous to dogs.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Acorns, which grow on oak trees, can cause upset in dogs due to the tannins that they contain. With conkers, it is Aesculin that is the poison and the symptoms can be equally unpleasant. These may include vomiting, diarrhoea, or even cause your dog to collapse. Signs may not appear until up to two days after ingestion but are often within a few hours. In the case of both acorns and conkers, the hard and rough nature of these can block internal movement and can be difficult to dislodge.
It’s not only poisonous seeds that can cause problems for your pet, but fallen leaves can also create issues. When they become damp, mould and bacteria gather. Ingesting these can give your dog an upset stomach. Therefore keep a close eye on yours, as you walk them or when off the lead in wooded areas.
SEASONAL CANINE ILLNESS (SCI)
This is an officially accepted condition, of which little is known other than symptoms, time of year and where dogs are likely to catch it. Dogs will generally show lethargy and stomach bug upset (similar to as described above). SCI’s onset is between 24 and 72 hours after walking in woodland areas, usually in the Autumn months. There is some suggestion that SCI may be linked to harvest mites that proliferate during this time.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED / KEEP YOUR DOG HEALTHY IN AUTUMN
Contact your vet immediately if you are aware of symptoms. Your dog will need either re-hydration or medication. In the case of blockage, surgery will be required.
Be particularly vigilant of where your dog goes on walks and what it puts in his / her mouth. Avoid harvest fields. Regular coat grooming will also help keep away bugs and mites!
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